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Y'know I love a good protest just like most other Americans, be they Tea Party or #Occupy - there's a reason that Free Speech is the 1st of all Amendments - but this right here is simply off the rails.

Prosecutors said on Saturday that a trio of protestors arrested this week in Chicago were allegedly planning to target President Obama’s campaign headquarters, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s house and some of the city’s financial institutions with homemade bombs in a series of attacks timed to coincide with this weekend’s NATO summit there.

Court documents posted online by the Chicago Tribune said the three men were anarchists who traveled together from Florida to Chicago to carry out the attacks and hoped to recruit as many as 16 people to help.

Free speech gives you the right to stand up and say what you think, even if it's stupid, even if it's insulting, even if it's wrong - it doesn't give you the right to threaten people or to plot to blow them up.

Then again, maybe they were just brewing beer, not bombs.

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Lawyers for the men said earlier the arrests were merely a way for authorities to harass legitimate protesters with trumped up charges. They said investigators only found home beer brewing equipment when they raided the apartment on the city’s south side earlier in the week.

Prosecutors, however, painted a different picture in the charging documents. They wrote that the trio made Molotov cocktails out of empty beer bottles, gasoline and cut up bandanas. The records indicate investigators found four such firebombs in the apartment along with plans for making pipe bombs. The items were discovered after Chicago police, along with the FBI and U.S. Secret Service, obtained a no-knock search warrant to raid the place.

So when is a bottle of Schlitz like an IED?  Usually I would say when you're dumb enough to drink that swill.

But this situation raises many other question in my mind, it seems like CPD where going out of their way not just to turn a can of beer into a molotov cocktail, but also to paint these protestors with Occupy stripes as was shown here as the same three suspects were pulled over and had thier car searched by CPD officers - some of the banter and cracks by the Police are more than a bit disturbing.

CPD Officer 1: They denied it, but he came up to me and said "Oh, yeah, we're with Occupy Chicago".

CPD Officer 1: See these guys know, '68 these guys know all about that.  What did they say back in '68?

CPD Officer 2: Billy Club to the Fucking Skull.

Passenger: You know that was a race issue right?

CPD Officer 1: Take the race out of it.

CPD Officer 3: Now we get to beat your white ass.

CPD Officer 1: Wait for the protest day, save it all up for that.

Passenger: We'll see you all at NATO.

CPD Officer 1: Can't wait - we'll come look for you, each and every one of you

Hmm.... technically they weren't From Occupy Chicago, they'd just arrived in town - they were on their way to join it.

Via the Chicago Tribune.

The men traveled from Florida to the Chicago area ahead of this weekend’s NATO meetings in order to prepare a multi-staged attack against various targets in the city, prosecutors said. According to court documents, the men planned to first attack four Chicago police stations and destroy several squad cars with "destructive devices" in order to divert the department’s attention and resources.

While authorities were distracted by those strikes, the group intended to hit Obama’s national campaign headquarters in the Prudential Building, Emanuel’s home in Ravenswood and other downtown financial institutions, prosecutors said. The group had already done reconnaissance work on the Chicago Police Department headquarters in Bronzeville in preparation for the attack, law-enforcement officials said.

I don't know if these allegations are true, i don't know if these guy were essentially profiled or if they truly are violent anachist bent on fire-bombing Obama HQ.

Listening to this tape though, the only persons making threat - particularly threats of violence - where members of the Chicago PD.

On the other hand, the CPD claims that the did find more than just beer bottles at their place. A lot more.

When police raided the apartment Wednesday evening, they recovered four completed Molotov cocktails and weapons including a mortar gun, swords, a hunting bow, throwing stars and knives with brass knuckle handles, according to law-enforcement records. They also possessed protective gear such as pre-positioned shields, assault vests and gas masks to help hide their identity during the planned attacks, prosecutors said.

Church also wanted to buy several assault rifles and indicated that if an officer pointed a gun at him, he planned to be "pointing one back," authorities said.

Court documents indicate authorities most likely have recordings of the men discussing their plans, but the records do not indicate how the audio was obtained. Law-enforcement sources told the Tribune that police had two informants inside the Bridgeport apartment.

These guys don't sound at all like Occupy to me, they sound like Trouble if what the police and prosecutors are saying can be trusted and believed. Unfortunately the lousy and biased manner in that so many police departments have handled Occupy or Occupy-adjacent protesters in general, and the apparent CPD clearly sour attitude about it doesn't make me immediately confident in thier claims.

It's not like U.S. Law Enforcement has been all that fair in how they've responded to Julian Assange campared to the New York Times when they report the exact same thing.  It's like they've treated Bradley Manning with fairness either.

They're going to have to prove their case.

I suspect we'll be hearing more about this, much more.

Vyan

Extended (Optional)

Originally posted to Vyan on Sat May 19, 2012 at 06:35 PM PDT.

Also republished by Occupy Wall Street.

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